MESA, Ariz. (KSAZ) - It has been one year since the deadly Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida that killed 49 people. One of the youngest victims killed in the attack was Jason Josaphat.
The 19-year-old was a 2014 graduate of Mesa's Skyline High School. On Monday, there was a balloon release at Skyline Park, in honor of Jason.
"We just all came here to respect his memory, and remember him as a person and as a hero, saving a survivor," said Sophonie Joseph, Jason's cousin. "He was liked, he was a good person. He didn't deserve what happened to him, and we love him very much and we miss him."
Sophonie said that she and Jason were very close, and that he was a ray of light for all that knew him.
"He was like a big brother to me actually," recounted Sophonie. "We were very close. Our family, we'd all pack in one car and drive to school, and he'd always be smiling or dancing or singing in the car."
Jason was very involved at Skyline, and did cheer with Kameron Hicks. Hicks said Jason was always supportive, no matter what.
"He was just a great person," said Hicks. "He never judged me for the person that I was. I wasn't out at the time, he never asked me he never questioned me, he was just always supportive."
According to a person who survived the Pulse Nightclub shooting, Jason died a hero, throwing his body on to hers and shielding her from gunshots.